Ecotech Institute’s Clean Jobs Index Shows the U.S. Had Nearly 750,000 Clean Job Openings in First Quarter of 2013

Ecotech Institute today released new data from its Clean Jobs Index, which aggregates all the available clean jobs in the U.S. The Index found that there were 749,197 clean jobs posted across the United States between January 1, 2013 and March 31, 2013. The Index breaks down clean jobs by state with links to local listings, helping to fill the data gap left by the U.S. government when it recently stopped tracking green jobs due to budget cuts. View the results as an infographic at

Ecotech Institute, the first and only college focused entirely on training students for solar, wind and renewable energy jobs, launched the Clean Jobs Index in January 2013, although it can pull data for all of 2012. In addition to providing objective information on jobs, the Clean Jobs Index also aggregates data on a variety of sustainability factors in all 50 states, including alternative fueling stations, LEED projects, total energy consumption, energy efficiency, green pricing, net metering and state incentives.

One area that is illustrating tremendous growth is the solar industry. In Q1 2013, the Clean Jobs Index listed more than 8,000 solar jobs with titles such as solar sales representatives, installers, solar panel manufacturers and project managers.

Highlights from the Clean Jobs Index, Q1 2013: 

  • Number of Clean Jobs Posted in the U.S. in Q1 2013: 749,197
  • States with the Biggest Gains in Clean Jobs Postings from Q4 2012 to Q1 2013: Alabama, Iowa, Michigan, Mississippi, Nebraska, Vermont, West Virginia
  • Number of Available Alternative Fueling Stations Nationwide: 23,575, up seven percent from Q4 2012
  • States with the Most Alternative Fueling Stations: California, Florida, Michigan, Oregon, Tennessee, Texas, Washington
  • National Number of Electric Car Chargers: 16,256, up by 1,274 from Q4 2012
  • States with the Most Incentives for Sustainability and Renewables: California, Oregon, Minnesota, Texas, Washington
  • States with the Most Growth in Available Incentives from Q4 2012 to Q1 2013: Illinois, Indiana, Massachusetts, Missouri, Oregon
  • New Building Space LEED Certified Within Q1 2013: 110,000,000 square feet nationally, up five percent from the previous quarter

“The Clean Jobs Index shows that there is tremendous job growth in the cleantech sector and signs of positive momentum on the state level for environmental factors that can affect us all,” said Kyle Crider, Ecotech Institute’s Program Chair and Manager of Environmental Operations. “When we see increases in LEED certification, we know businesses are making sustainable decisions; when we see an increase in alternative fueling stations, we know people are driving demand for greener forms of transportation. These are powerful indicators.”

Ecotech Institute regularly gathers data for the Clean Jobs Index from a variety of independent research entities that develop and regularly publish cleantech information. Sources include a variety of government agencies, nonprofit organizations and businesses, including: U.S. Energy Information Administration, U.S. Department of Energy, U.S. Green Building Council, American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy and Database of State Incentives for Renewables & Efficiency.

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Why is Science Behind a Paywall?

Read the full post at Priceonomics.

Scientists’ work follows a consistent pattern. They apply for grants, perform their research, and publish the results in a journal. The process is so routine it almost seems inevitable. But what if it’s not the best way to do science?

Although the act of publishing seems to entail sharing your research with the world, most published papers sit behind paywalls. The journals that publish them charge thousands of dollars per subscription, putting access out of reach to all but the most minted universities. Subscription costs have risen dramatically over the past generation. According to critics of the publishers, those increases are the result of the consolidation of journals by private companies who unduly profit off their market share of scientific knowledge.

When we investigated these alleged scrooges of the science world, we discovered that, for their opponents, the battle against this parasitic profiting is only one part of the scientific process that needs to be fixed.

Beauty Tips for the FDA

Read the full story from the Investigative Fund and the Washington Monthly.

The European Union bans nearly 1,400 chemicals from personal care products because they are carcinogenic, mutagenic, or toxic to reproduction. But in the United States, the Food and Drug Administration entrusts safety regulation of cosmetics to a private entity that is housed and funded by the industry’s trade association. To date, this entity has found only eleven chemicals to be “unsafe for use in cosmetics.”

Quantifying the benefit of early climate change mitigation in avoiding biodiversity loss

R. Warren, J. VanDerWal, J. Price, J. A. Welbergen, I. Atkinson, J. Ramirez-Villegas, T. J. Osborn, A. Jarvis, L. P. Shoo, S. E. Williams & J. Lowe (2013). “Quantifying the benefit of early climate change mitigation in avoiding biodiversity loss.” Nature Climate Change DOI: 10.1038/nclimate1887.

Abstract: Climate change is expected to have significant influences on terrestrial biodiversity at all system levels, including species-level reductions in range size and abundance, especially amongst endemic species. However, little is known about how mitigation of greenhouse gas emissions could reduce biodiversity impacts, particularly amongst common and widespread species. Our global analysis of future climatic range change of common and widespread species shows that without mitigation, 57±6% of plants and 34±7% of animals are likely to lose ≥50% of their present climatic range by the 2080s. With mitigation, however, losses are reduced by 60% if emissions peak in 2016 or 40% if emissions peak in 2030. Thus, our analyses indicate that without mitigation, large range contractions can be expected even amongst common and widespread species, amounting to a substantial global reduction in biodiversity and ecosystem services by the end of this century. Prompt and stringent mitigation, on the other hand, could substantially reduce range losses and buy up to four decades for climate change adaptation.

Federal Agencies Seek Input to Update Great Lakes Restoration Initiative Action Plan

The federal agencies and departments of the Great Lakes Interagency Task Force today announced opportunities for the public to provide input to a planned update of the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative Action Plan.

The updated Action Plan would direct Great Lakes restoration for fiscal years 2015-2019. The public may comment directly to the federal agencies and to the Great Lakes Advisory Board (GLAB), a panel of experts established to provide recommendations to the federal agencies.

“If you love the Great Lakes, these forums are a chance for you to help steer how we invest in their health,” said Cameron Davis, senior advisor to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator, who chairs the Task Force. Davis will facilitate all forums.

Comments may be given at any of the following scheduled meetings:

  • Tuesday & Wednesday, May 21-22 – Great Lakes Advisory Board Inaugural Meeting & Public Comment to GLAB:
  • Thursday, May 23, 2-4 pm Central – Webinar / Registration Web Link:
  • Tuesday, May 28, 6-8 pm Eastern – First Ward Community Center, 62 Republic Street, Buffalo, New York.
  • Thursday, May 30, 6-8 pm Central – Urban Ecology Center in Riverside Park, 1500 East Park Place, Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
  • Monday, June 3, 5-7 pm Central – Webinar / Registration Web Link:
  • Wednesday, June 5, 6-8 pm Eastern – Cleveland Public Library, Louis Stokes Annex, 325 Superior Avenue, Cleveland, Ohio.

In February 2010, the Task Force released the GLRI Action Plan for FY2010-2014. The Action Plan identified goals, objectives, measurable ecological targets, and specific actions to help rehabilitate the Great Lakes.

The Action Plan targets investments to reduce toxic contamination, rehabilitate fish and wildlife habitat, improve nearshore health, reduce nutrients and other land-based pollution, prevent invasive species, and promote accountability, education, and collaboration.

More public comment opportunities may be announced.

Please visit for updates or for more information on the GLRI.

Illinois’ renewable energy fund lacks power to fulfill purpose

Read the full story in the Chicago Tribune.

Five years ago, Illinois passed legislation requiring electric suppliers to buy more renewable energy such as wind and solar power and then pass those costs on to customers.

The intent of the mandate was to have so-called green electricity accounting for a quarter of the power flowing into residences and businesses by 2025 while fostering homegrown jobs and cleaner air.

But that was before customers of the state’s two major electric utilities defected en masse to other suppliers that purchase power on the open market. With that move, the state is falling short of its green mandate, because money being collected from customers by these other energy suppliers isn’t being used for green energy purchases.

Instead, the money is going into a fund that’s sitting untapped because of obscure language in state law.

In a related story, the Tribune reports that, although Illinois law requires that renewable energy should come from Illinois or surrounding states, the power it receives is probably from outside Illinois, unless a municipality or business explicitly has stated it wants local renewable power.

Who’s leading the corporate sustainability Twitterati?

Read the full story at GreenBiz.

Sure, you’ve got a Twitter account. But what are you doing with it? Oh, and is anyone out there actually listening?

Those are nontrivial questions in our social-media-driven world. Everyone, it seems, is a brand ambassador. But who’s really effective?

We recently went through the Twitter stats of sustainability and corporate responsibility professionals in large companies to see who’s being followed, retweeted and otherwise wielding influence in social media.